Han Dynasty Religions

1938 Words 8 Pages
The Han Dynasty had 3 main religions: Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. Taoism started in the 6th century by Lao-Tzu. He recorded his own teachings into a book called the Tao Ti Ching. Taoism means living in harmony with Tao, or “the way” or “path” or “principle”. Taoism also focused on the Three Treasures: compassion, moderation, and humility. Lao-Tzu stated that everyone should be one with nature. He also believed that all living things have a universal force flowing through them. He created the Yin Yang ideology, used in medicine and everyday life. He stressed a loose government with little rules, the complete opposite of what Confucius thought was right. Lao-Tzu was the founder of the only original Chinese religion that focused mainly …show more content…
Buddhism was constructed in Nepal in about 500 B.C. by Buddha, or “the awakened one”. Buddhists believe in a “rebirth” of essence and an inner peace through daily practice. The ultimate objective is pure and lasting happiness for all human beings. If a follower lives a proper life, the cycle of rebirth is complete and they have reached Nirvana. Buddhists also believed in Karma, in which all actions have consequences. If you did a good deed to help someone else out, the universe will bless you with a good deed by another person. Buddha challenged the Hindu idea that only the upper class had a chance of being holy, which jeopardized his relationship with the hierarchy of Nepal and India. Buddhism was established in China by travelers of the Silk Road into China. The religion spread quickly as China’s oldest foreign religion. Another important concept in the Han Dynasty was dreams. Dreams are a large segment of ancient Chinese religion. They were interpreted as omens by specialists of the the time (Lewis 183). Dreams could involve gods, spirits of the dead, provide information, or coded symbols. The interpretations were treated as “a guide to action [rather] than a fixed fate”(183). The people of the Han empire also believed in ancestral worship. Emperors, powerful families, nobility, and even peasants believed in the “Cult of the Dead”. The …show more content…
There was a miniscule ratio of land for farming per capita[xv], which created a great amount of peasant farmers barely surviving[xvi]. The peasants that were barely surviving were forced to become tenant farmers that paid rent to the aristocratic class with horrendous prices, up to half their annual harvest income[xvii]. The farmers also had to devote one month a year to working for the government for free in order to develop the construction of canals and roads[xviii]. The farmers were pushed to make inventions to help the sheer amount of their mandatory labor to stay

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